UK health groups lobby for soft drink tax

29th January, 2013 by Tom Bruce-Gardyne

The UK health lobby has turned its guns on soft drinks in the run-up to this year’s Budget (20 March), with the proposal of a sales tax of 20p per litre.

Cuba Libre

Cocktails like the Cuba Libre that features cola would increase in price if the proposed soft drink tax is passed

Over sixty organisations including the Royal College of Paediatrics and Sustain are backing the proposal which they claim would raise £1.1bn from the 5.7bn litres of sweet, fizzy drinks sold in Britain.

“Just as we use fiscal measures to discourage drinking and smoking and help prevent people from dying early, there is now lots of evidence that the same approach would work for food,” said Sustain’s chairman, Mike Rayner.

But the head of The British Soft Drink Association, Gavin Partington, hit back, saying; “Obesity is a serious and complex problem, but a tax on soft drinks, which contribute just 2% of the total calories in the average diet, will not help address it” and that “61% of soft drinks contain no added sugar.”

With the heat off ‘big alcohol’ for a change, spirits producers might welcome the news, but of course the measures would punish the UK’s hard-pressed on trade who are already struggling with punitive taxes on beers, wines and spirits.

There is also the large quantity of soft drinks used in popular cocktails like the Cuba Libra. Besides, alcoholic drinks are due a 2% tax rise above inflation in March due to the Government’s duty escalator.

According to the Wine & Spirit Trade Association, duty and VAT now accounts for 74% of the price of an average bottle of spirits in the UK, and that proportion will rise after the Budget.

Leave a Reply

If that's interesting, how about these?

The week in pictures

In just one week we've crammed in barrel-aged cocktails at Big Easy, delectable more...

New trade body formed for alcohol tax stamps

A new global trade association has been formed to “provide a collective more...

Entrepreneurs launch sugar beet vodka

Two entrepreneurs from Minnesota have launched a new vodka produced exclusively more...

Top 10 best value for money Tequilas

As a new wave of agave aficionados express interest in the category, producers more...

Scotch and baijiu among 'most valuable' brands

Two spirits brands have appeared in the new Global 500 list that counts down more...

Women should avoid alcohol unless using contraception

Sexually active women should not drink alcohol unless they are using more...

Quintessential takes gin distribution in-house

London-based drinks group Quintessential Brands will take on-trade distribution more...

Powdered alcohol found in two UK prisons

Powdered alcohol has been discovered in two UK prisons for the first time, more...

Super Bowl Sunday sees 15% drink driving spike

American football fans are being urged not to drink and drive next weekend more...

SWA meets with Treasury over tax 'burden'

Representatives from Scotch Whisky Association have met with the UK Treasury to more...

Bartenders debate level of responsible service

The best bartenders get a kick out of helping people have a good time – but more...

The Tequila Masters 2016 results

Producers of Mexico’s iconic liquid remain determined to shake off the more...

China doubles Hainan duty free allowance

The Chinese Ministry of Finance has relaxed duty free allowances for shoppers more...

MBG Global Brands moves into Nordic region

Drinks distributor MBG Global Brands has created a new unit to operate in the more...

Confidence 'not dramatically' eroded in Russia

Faced with a dark market and a tumbling rouble, international drinks companies more...

SWA urges government to 'stand up for Scotch'

The SWA is urging the UK government to “stand up for Scotch” and lower more...

American whiskey boosts US spirits once again

Spirits experienced another year of “steady growth” in the US last year, more...

Britons back tougher drink driving limit

The majority of the British public support lowering the legal drink drive limit more...

Warner Edwards enjoys 400% on-trade growth

Gin distiller Warner Edwards witnessed a 400% spike in UK on-trade sales more...

Market for rare whisky 'exceeds all forecasts'

The rare whisky market experienced a “record” year in 2015, with the value more...